Saturday, August 01, 2015

Euroarms Magnum Cape Gun Range Report

Today I got the chance to shoot the Euroarms Magnum Cape Gun percussion shotgun that I picked up last week at Dixon's. Like last week, I shot it over at a friend's place, this time after we installed a trailer hitch on my Nissan Xterra, so I can mount a bike rack or cargo carrier. That took about 45 minutes and afterwards we drove to the back of his yard where he has a short range for pistols and black powder guns.

Earlier this week I'd ordered some .690 cast lead round balls, 0.020" thick patches, and a few other items, from Track of the Wolf. I'd also ordered a 10 lb. bag each of Lawrence copper plated No. 5 and No. 7.5 birdshot from Rotometals, via their Amazon shop. Both orders came yesterday.

I patterned both sizes of shot at ~15 yards. The birdshot loads were 80 grains of 2Fg Goex and an equivalent volume of shot (i.e., a "square load"). On top of the powder I put a corrugated cardboard wad and a 1/8" thick lubricated felt wad. The shot was secured in place with a second corrugated cardboard wad. The wads were punched out using a 3/4" arch punch that I got from Amazon, which I chucked in my mill, with a piece of wood held in the mill vise under the wad material. I put the mill on a low speed, and the wads were cut out easily. Beats using a hammer!

We used IDPA paper targets for patterning. I put some blue painter's tape in the middle for a well-defined aiming point.

First, the No. 7.5s, used for informal trap shooting:

I pulled that shot a little to the left.

Next, the No. 5s, which I'll use for upland birds and small game:

(The bullet hole in the top right was from my friend's .45 caliber Euroarms Kentuckian flintlock carbine. The hole in the left of the -1 ring is from a wad.)

We then took some shots with patched round balls on the above target from ~25 yards, but I forgot to take pictures. My load was 80 grains of 2Fg Goex, a 0.020" patch lubed with Bore Butter, and a .690" lead round ball. At that range, the gun shoots a couple inches high but is easily minute-of-whitetail.

I took three more shots, recycling the target I used when I patterned the No. 7.5 shot.

You can really see the difference in the .45 and .69 caliber holes. I yanked the first shot, which is the one to the left of the tape. Point of aim was 6 o'clock on the blue tape, so it shoots a little high with this load at 50 yards.

I recovered a couple of my patches, which show a perfect fouling pattern with no cutting, as expected.

This load looks like a winner for close range deer hunting. It's accurate enough to 50 yards and even after 11 shots with no wiping, seated easily. In fact, the balls can be started in the muzzle with only thumb pressure.

I noticed that fouling was starting to build up in the breech after about 9 shots. I could've continued shooting after 11 shots if I wiped the bore, but by then it was lunchtime and we called it quits.

One thing that helped make loading easier was that last night I'd measured out all my powder and shot loads, and put them in speed loader tubes from TOTW. Likewise, I'd prelubed my shooting patches, which saved a lot of mess, since Bore Butter gets runny when it's 90 degrees out.

Aside from preparing my powder and shot charges and lubing my patches, I'd prepared a Ziploc bag of cleaning patches by soaking them in water with a little Windex squirted in. I used a few of these after shooting, then completed cleaning once I got home. At home I took advantage of the gun's patent breech and dunked the breech end in a bucket of hot soapy water, so I could pump it through the bore. I then followed up with some dry patches, and then a few with WD40 to make sure that there wasn't any water left inside. Finally, I left the bore with a good coat of Ballistol to prevent rust.

I am really looking forward to carrying the Euroarms Magnum Cape Gun afield this fall.


Mark Baur said...

I like #5 shot and your Cape Gun apparently does too. The holes in your #5 pattern were about the same size as those in the #7.5 pattern.

Mark Baur said...

I like #5 shot and your Cape Gun apparently does too. The holes in your #5 pattern were about the same size as those in the #7.5 pattern.